Government supports amendment that protects pubs from change of use

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Ruling moves closer: pub redevelopment 'loophole' set to close
Ruling moves closer: pub redevelopment 'loophole' set to close

Related tags Greg mulholland mp Local government

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has confirmed the Government will support an amendment that will make it harder for big chains and developers to buy out individual pubs.

The amendment, which was tabled yesterday (23 March), will make it more difficult for developers to change the use or demolish pubs through 'permitted development rights' – a “planning loophole” that covers certain types of building work that do not need planning permission.

Although it will not stop the redevelopment of pubs, planning applications will now have to be made by developers for local councillors and the public to comment on.

The DCLG has confirmed that the Government will support the amendment when it goes back to the House of Commons on Tuesday (28 March).

The amendment was originally a non-Government amendment, but has become one now.

Loophole removal

Several campaigning organisations have welcomed the Government’s move.

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chief executive Tim Page said: “This is a fantastic victory for campaigners who have secured the removal of a loophole that allowed pubs to be redeveloped or demolished without reference to the local community or planners.”

He continued: “This change delivers real and robust protection to valued community pubs, which have previously relied on communities going through the bureaucratic process of securing asset of community value (ACV) status, or local authorities choosing to use complex and obscure Article 4 directions.

“We will work with the Government to ensure these measures are implemented as soon as possible to allow pubs across England to start benefiting from the protection of the planning system.”

British Pub Confederation chair and author of the original amendment, Greg Mulholland MP, said the move was a “victory for pubs but also for localism”.

“I am delighted that the Government has now agreed to make this long overdue and vital change that will, at last, end the nonsense of viable pubs being converted to supermarkets without communities having any say,” he said.

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